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As the pharmaceutical industry churns out more cancer treatments, a new analysis finds that oncologists who receive payments over an extended period of time — mostly for speaking or consulting — are much more likely to prescribe a medicine made by the company that writes them a check.

The physicians treating kidney and lung cancer as well as chronic myeloid leukemia typically wrote more prescriptions for drugs made by a company that paid them over a three-year period, according to the findings, which were published in The Oncologist. However, a cause-and-effect relationship was not established and the same sort of association was not found among doctors who treated prostate cancer.

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  • There is an old saying “Propinquity breeds attraction.” These payments may cause a focus that keeps the Rx more in mid, giving more opportunity to find value in the treatment. (One that is stronger than simply the ‘food and beverage’ one.)
    As a quasi-cynic, I would further postulate that the flow of information would tend to focus on value / safety, rather than ‘merely anecdotal’ reports of side effects? Or at least, one would wonder.

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